Be Ambitious, Boys!

Hello Everybody!

So I’ve been home almost a week, I’ve completed my Japanese homework and quiz and it’s time to sit down and do some writing, in English.

I left off at Otaru and heading on the train to Sapporo. Now, I had no clear idea what I would do in Sapporo, but I figured that I would do what I usually do in a city that I know nothing about. I would wander the streets and see where each little road led me.

The train rolled into the station and expelled me into crowds…people moving fast, who obviously knew where they were going. Since I had no clear agenda, I decided to move in the direction of Hokkaido University.

sculpture-pointing-th-eway
Pointing the way…I started walking in this direction because…why not?

The air was cool, maybe thirty degrees Fahrenheit, maybe not, but it was sunny and a good day for a walk. I was not that far from Hokkaido University, so away I went.

Here’s a little history from the website: http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/71326/History-of-Hokkaido-University/#vars!date=1538-09-25_17:33:29!

For 136 years, Hokkaido University has earned a reputation for pioneering research on the cutting edge. Today, Hokkaido University is an advanced research institution, with strong links to industry, community and government. Our stunning main campus is located in downtown Sapporo, within walking distance to almost everything the beautiful city has to offer. With an additional campus in the coastal city of Hakodate, Hokkaido University has become the powerhouse of innovation and research of northern Japan.

Founded back in 1876 as Sapporo Agricultural College – we were remarkably the nation’s first institute to issue formal degrees. The phrase “Be ambitious!”, which serves as Hokkaido University’s motto, is derived from the words of Dr. William Clark, the founding father of the College. The quote not only inspired the very first pupils in 1877, but remains extremely popular today as a message to encourage all young people.”

university-original-building
One of the original buildings of Hokkaido University.

I spent a little time walking around, feeling that energy that college campus’ seem to emit…stress and angst among the trees and wide walking paths. I particularly liked the two signs below. I was trying to relax but be alert for branches falling on my head… a little difficult to do.

mixed-messages
Mixed messages…
raven-near-stream
One of the many ‘students’ on campus ….he has iridescent wings!

And just like most of Japan, there were ravens everywhere. These ravens would glide dangerously close to you, then give a little look back like they knew they were toying with you. They are incredibly smart and gregarious….chatting very loudly with each other as we all passed by. Most were camera shy and as soon as I got anywhere close to taking a picture, off they would go.

red-brick-building
The Red Brick Office – at the top of Kita Sanjo Dori, more American architecture.
otter-maintenance-cover
Otters on a  maintenance cover
odori-park
Odori Park – the site of the famous winter festival in Sapporo with the ice sculptures throughout the city.
christmas-tree-and-tv-tower
The TV Tower, modeled after the Eiffel Tower and a big ‘christmas’ tree in Odori Park.

So there was much walking around, followed by another little train ride to Chitose and on to New Chitose Airport, which features a luxury hotel, spa, chocolate factory,  small amusement park and about a gazillion restaurants.

It was a nice trip, but my heart was not in much of it and I’m taking a little break from some of my travels to focus on my Japanese class and my training. I need to spend more time with my language acquisition, my Goju Ryu and bo staff. Trust me when I say, they all need work. The most important person in my life told me to stop thinking so much and focus on my purpose. That is what I plan on doing….